Doctoral (PhD) student position in Cognitive Neuroscience

Updated: about 2 months ago

To be a doctoral student means to devote oneself to a research project under supervision of experienced researchers and following an individual study plan. For a doctoral degree, the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral education is required.


The research group

In the research group of Assistant Professor Konstantina Kilteni (https://www.kiltenilab.org/ ), we aim to understand how the brain differentiates between sensations produced by our movements (for example, when we touch our body) from those generated by the environment or others (for example, when another person touches/tickles us). A core theme of our research is to understand how the brain uses motor information to perform this distinction during voluntary movements, and how it is related to certain personality traits that resemble the clinical symptoms of schizophrenia but in healthy non-clinical individuals. We use behavioral (psychophysics and kinematics), physiological (electromyography-EMG), and neuroimaging (magnetoencephalography – MEG, and functional magnetic resonance - fMRI) measures to address these questions. The lab is part of the Neuroscience department, in the Biomedicum centre at Karolinska Institute research campus, a vibrant, highly interactive, internationally-recognized center for medical research with outstanding research infrastructure, where you have the possibility to contribute to high-quality research at high international level.


The doctoral student project and the duties of the doctoral student

The project is focused on identifying how somatosensory perception is modulated over the time course of our actions, both at the behavioral and neural level. To this end, you will perform behavioral studies including psychophysical, kinematic, and electromyographic recordings, and structural/functional neuroimaging studies including the methods of magnetoencephalography, resting-state functional connectivity, diffusion tensor imaging and voxel-based morphometry.

The doctoral student is expected to:

  • lead the project under the supervision of the main supervisor and with support from two co-supervisors. Formal supervision will comprise of regular meetings with the main supervisor to discuss project progress and strategies to solve problems (at least once weekly, physically or virtually).
  • complete doctoral training, including courses and other research-related activities,
  • write the ethical application of the project,
  • design and conduct the experimental studies of the project,
  • perform statistical analysis with a gradual complexity progression,
  • write and revise scientific articles,
  • take part in weekly lab meetings and discuss science,
  • present the project outcomes at internal seminars and international conferences,
  • actively participate in the lab’s journal clubs,
  • collaborate on related projects led by others.

What do we offer?

A creative and inspiring environment full of expertise and curiosity. Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities. Our vision is to pursue the development of knowledge about life and to promote a better health for all. At Karolinska Institutet, we conduct successful medical research and hold the largest range of medical education in Sweden. As a doctoral student you are offered an individual research project, a well-educated supervisor, a vast range of elective courses and the opportunity to work in a leading research group. Karolinska Institutet collaborates with prominent universities from all around the world, which ensures opportunities for international exchanges. You will be employed on a doctoral studentship which means that you receive a contractual salary. Employees also have access to our modern gym for free and receive reimbursements for medical care.


Eligibility requirements for doctoral education

In order to participate in the selection for a doctoral position, you must meet the following general (A) and specific (B) eligibility requirements at latest by the application deadline.

It is your responsibility to certify eligibility by following the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

A) General eligibility requirement

You meet the general eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

  • have been awarded a second-cycle/advanced/master qualification (i.e. master degree), or
  • have satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the advanced/second-cycle/master level, or
  • have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.*
  • Follow the instructions on the web page Entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education.

    *If you claim equivalent knowledge, follow the instructions on the web page Assessing equivalent knowledge for general eligibility for doctoral education.

    B) Specific eligibility requirement

    You meet the specific eligibility requirement for doctoral/third-cycle/PhD education if you:

    - Show proficiency in English equivalent to the course English B/English 6 at Swedish upper secondary school.

    Follow the instructions on the web page English language requirements for doctoral education.

    Verification of your documents Karolinska Institutet checks the authenticity of your documents. Karolinska Institutet reserves the right to revoke admission if supporting documents are discovered to be fraudulent. Submission of false documents is a violation of Swedish law and is considered grounds for legal action.

    (A) and (B)can only be certified by the documentation requirement for doctoral education .


    Skills and personal qualities
    • You are a very motivated, innovative, and enthusiastic individual possessing an excellent analytical ability and a particular interest in human somatosensation and motor control, and advanced statistical modelling, including human brain data.
    • You are also interested in understanding the relationship between somatosensation and personality traits including schizotypy.
    • You are expected to display a high degree of contentiousness, initiative-taking, stamina and autonomy.
    • A Master in Psychology, Neuroscience, Medicine, Biomedicine, or equivalent is required.
    • Good-to-excellent coding skills in R, Python or MATLAB are expected.
    • Previous experience with psychophysics, fMRI, MEG/EEG will be highly appreciated.
    • Since the research group is international and project communication mainly occurs in English, the candidate must be proficient in writing and speaking English.
    • Knowing basic Swedish is beneficial but not required.

    Terms and conditions

    The doctoral student will be employed on a doctoral studentship maximum 4 years full-time.

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    Application process

    Submit your application and supporting documents through the Varbi recruitment system. Use the button in the top right corner and follow the instructions. We prefer that your application is written in English, but you can also apply in Swedish.

    Your application must contain the following documents:

    - A personal letter and a curriculum vitae
    - Degree projects and previous publications, if any
    - Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above
    - Documents certifying your general eligibility (see A above)
    - Documents certifying your specific eligibility (see B above)


    Selection

    A selection will be made among eligible applicants on the basis of the ability to benefit from doctoral education. The qualifications of the applicants will be evaluated on an overall basis.

    Karolinska Institutet uses the following bases of assessment:

    - Documented subject knowledge of relevance to the area of research
    - Analytical skill
    - Other documented knowledge or experience that may be relevant to doctoral studies in the subject.

    All applicants will be informed when the recruitment is completed.


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